PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - In past years, volunteers and employees of the Ord Military Community Thrift Shop gathered for ceremonies that honored young scholars of military families.

For more than two decades, the thrift shop "ladies" helped ease a bit of the burden of the costs of higher education by providing more than $200,000 worth of scholarships to college students and college-bound students in military families.

But, with the passing in July of Carolyn L. Porter, the shops manager and bookkeeper, the era of the thrift shop here came to a close.

It might have taken a while to decide what to do with the remaining funds in the shop's bank account, but with one last donation, the store's staff sent the remaining money toward a cause that has become dear to many people who once called Fort Ord "home."

On Feb. 10, some of the former staff of the OMC Thrift Shop presented representatives of the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation with a check for $18,296.31. The money will go toward a veterans' cemetery on the former Fort Ord.

The Army donated the land, said foundation president Janet Parks, but the foundation needs to raise $800,000 by the end of April to stay on track.

In speaking with the thrift shop staff before the event, Parks pointed out to the women that perhaps they have sitting on their mantels at home urns that they would like to see have permanent homes.

Parks thanked the ladies, saying their donation assists the foundation in moving forward toward its ultimate goal, which includes helping many urns find permanent homes.